At a time when the Supreme Court is hearing a bunch of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage and equal rights for LGBTQ+ citizens, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has maintained that the LGBTQ community and transgender persons are humans and have right to live as others.
In an interview with the Organiser, the English language mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), Mr. Bhagwat has been quoted as saying that the Hindu society does not see the transgender community as a problem and added that LGBTQ people should have their own private and social space as well.
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“LGBT/ Transgender issue are not new issues; they have always been there. These people also have a right to live. Without much hullabaloo, we have found a way, with a humane approach, to provide them social acceptance, bearing in mind they are also human beings having inalienable right to live,” he was quoted as saying in the interview.
Explaining how the LGBTQ is not new to the Indian as well as Hindu society, Mr. Bhagwat shared the story from the Hindu mythology about Jarasandh who, he said, had two generals— Hans and Dimbhaka.
“When Lord Krishna fanned the rumour that Dimbhaka has died, Hans committed suicide. That is how Krishna got rid of those two generals. Come to think of it: what does the story suggest? This is the same thing. The two generals were in that sort of relationship. It is not that these people have never existed in our country,” Mr. Bhagwat said.
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He further maintained that people with such proclivities have always been there; for as long as humans have existed. He also added that because he is a veterinarian, he knows that such traits are found in animals too. “This is biological, a mode of life,” he further said.
In the wide-ranging interview amid the preparations for the RSS’s 100 years celebrations (1925), Mr. Bhagwat also spoke at length about women’s participation in the organization and said the ‘Sangh’ already had its women wing in the form of Sevika Samiti. He also hinted towards merging both the RSS and the Sevika Samiti if the latter feels like doing so.
“There are some places where school and college-going girls also attend Shakhas. Today, we do not tell them ‘This is not for you.’ We encourage them to form their own separate group and simply observe a minimal distance during Prarthana. Or recite the Samiti Prarthana. We are doing such things. But, how to formalize this, we still have to think. We certainly have to and we will do it soon,” he further said.